There is growing academic interest in the processes of policy transfer and in the phenomenon of globalisation, but little work has been done to link the two. Joseph Stiglitz in Chapter 2 refers to processes of globalisation and the importance of global scanning for policy ideas, but he does not explore the causes of the existing situation and the actual mechanisms of policy transfer. The investigation of this intellectual gap constitutes the subject of this chapter and the basis for an empirical research project exploring the relationship between these phenomena and focusing on the stages of policy transfer. The chapter concentrates on the role of think tanks as agents of policy transfer through a study of the role of a European think tank, the International Dialogues Foundation (IDF).
The argument is organised into two parts. In the first part, 'globalisation' and its relationship with the concepts of policy convergence and/or divergence is discussed, and an attempt is made to integrate them with the policy transfer literature. Think tanks are then defined and their role in a policy transfer network assessed. The second part of the paper engages in empirical analysis and is divided into two sections. The first section provides a contextual introduction to the IDF and its political environment. The youth employment conference that was organised by the IDF and aimed at the exchange of ideas on youth employment policy projects and the first steps towards the implementation of its outcomes are then outlined. The succeeding section applies the 'policy transfer network' framework to the IDF. This discussion provides some useful insights for think tanks and research institutes interested in policy transfer by providing an analysis of avenues for and constraints to policy transfer when 'scanning globally' for policy ideas and practices.
'Globalisation' is a term that is widely used in social science literature, although each discipline emphasises different aspects of the phenomenon. In economics, the focus is upon the global integration of markets. In international relations and political science, however, analysis centres on the role of the state and emerging